The Grand Rapids Drive (26-24) led from the opening tip as they won their fourth consecutive game, a 94-83 victory to sweep the season series with the Canton Charge (29-20), ending their third season of NBA D-League basketball here in Beer City, USA
The Drive scored the first seven points of the game and took a 26-15 lead after the first quarter. Again playing with no one taller than 6-foot-8, the Drive owned the paint against a team fighting for playoff position, scoring 54 points on 29-of-37 shooting down low.
In the second, it was more of the same as Grand Rapids. Ray McCallum came alive as the Drive built their lead to as many as 19 points, 48-29, with just under three minutes to go. Canton had trouble getting the ball into the basket and seemed out of sync throughout the first half.
Chris Anderson started the second half off with a huge dunk for Grand Rapids. Marcus Simmons hit consecutive baskets before Lorenzo Brown‘s fast break layup finally put the Drive up by 20 with 3:34 left in the third quarter. But Canton scored the next four points and were back within 71-55 as the Drive got a little sloppy with the ball late in the quarter.
But in the final period of the season for Grand Rapids, the Charge could only reduce the deficit to seven points on multiple occasions as the Drive had an answer for everything Canton threw at them.
Bruce Massey led the Drive with 22 points and six rebounds off the bench, playing the best game of his career. Brown added 21 points and six rebounds, McCallum had 16 points and 11 assists and Ramon Harris finished with 15 points, all from behind the three-point line, and 12 rebounds.
John Holland nearly had a career-high for the Charge, scoring 36 points. Eric Moreland pulled down 21 rebounds for the Charge and Larry Sanders, on assignment from the Cleveland Cavaliers after signing a deal for the rest of the season after being out of basketball for nearly two years, finished with 10 points and nine rebounds in 25 minutes.
The Drive finish the season two games over .500, their first winning season since moving the franchise to Grand Rapids from Springfield, MA.
Canton will face off with the Fort Wayne Mad Ants on Saturday to decide who will place third in the Eastern Conference and take on the Maine Red Claws in the first round of the playoffs. The loser will have to go head-to-head with Raptors 905, the #1 seed and best team in the regular season.